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The D90 rig, Scarabeo 9, in operation

Another Cuban well drilled by D90 designed rig

In the Cuban waters of the Gulf of Mexico, exploratory drilling projects have been continued. Cuba’s state oil company, Cubapetróleo (Cupet) informed the country’s media that Catoche 1X well offshore Cuba has not proven commercially viable.

The well drilled by a consortium consisting of Malaysia’s Petronas and Russia’s Gazprom has indeed encountered oil, but, according to Reuters, the discovery was made in a geological formation so tight that oil and gas could not flow in commercially viable quantities.

Cubapetróleo stated that the active petroleum system identified by Malaysia's PC Gulf and Russian firm Gazpromneft does not constitute a commercial find. The attempt was carried out off of the Pinar del Rio coast at a depth of over 15,000 feet.

They used the same Frigstad D90 design, 6th generation UDW rig, Scarabeo-9, that Repsol used on an earlier well. The plan to carry out a three-dimensional seismic analysis of other blocks in the coming months is underway, reports Fox News.

Currently, Venezuelan state oil giant PDVSA is to begin drilling with the D90 rig at a spot off the Cape of San Antonio, Cuba's westernmost point. Following the plugging and abandonment of Catoche 1X.

Sources maintain that Cuba’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has extreme potential for the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves based on geological analyses. Estimates put the EEZ’s capacity at holding anywhere from 5-20 billion barrels of crude oil.